Posts Tagged ‘L’chaim’

Life, more abundant life

December 5, 2017

John 10--10

The Verse of the Day for December 5, 2017 offers another metaphor used by Jesus Christ to help his followers understand who he and why he came on the scene:

John 10:7, 9-10 (AMP):

So Jesus said again, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am the Door for the sheep [leading to life]. I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

He begins by describing himself as the door or gate to the sheep that serves a dual purpose.  Such a gate or door can be used to keep enemies or those with harmful motives from entering the sheepfold. It can also be used to keep the sheep within the confines of safety.  The passage goes on to contrast the “thief” who comes with ill intent and attempts “to steal and to kill and to destroy the flock.” On the other hand, the Lord Jesus Christ comes not only to give life but more abundant life,

Verse 10 also brings to mind the Hebrew expression L’Chaim, literally meaning “to life!” The phrase is often used as a toast to celebrate a special occasion. L’Chaim reveals a great deal about the Jewish approach to life. The phrase is not to a good life, to a healthy life, or even to a long life. It is simply “to Life!”, recognizing that life is, indeed, good and precious and should always be celebrated and savored. According to a noted Rabbi, “L’Chaim” does not just mean “to life” as it is commonly translated, but “to lives”—to life in the plural: overflowing cup life, “bright and bubbly, doubly lovely,” life in all of its fullness.

John 10:10 serves as the epigraph or opening scripture for the following poetic expression:


The thief does not come except to steal,

and to kill, and to destroy.

I have come that they may have life,

and that they may have it more abundantly

John 10:10


From the fountain, never-ending waters of life,

Countless blessings flow from the one who lives and gives

Wisdom, knowledge, understanding and new meaning

That we might conquer the last enemy called death

And know exceeding great and precious promises

Of His kingdom, ruled by righteousness, joy and peace.


Surpassing all our understanding is His peace,

Refreshing cool water from the river of life

To satisfy and fulfill all His promises:

The everlasting portion of the grace that gives

Beauty for ashes to resurrect life from death

And unfold mysteries to give life true meaning.


Along the journey, each soul seeks to find meaning,

To sail through the storms of life to a place of peace,

To walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Every page recorded by the author of life

Speaks of the comfort and assurance that He gives

To all who decide to believe His promises.


Far beyond earthly treasures are God’s promises

To His dear children who come to know the meaning

Of true love from our most gracious Father, who gives

His spirit to season our speech with words of peace.

To minister to one another, to speak life:

In the tongue is the power of both life and death.


We know nothing separates us, not even death,

For God’s love still gives birth to untold promises

That we might be changed and walk in newness of life.

We strive to know God’s ways, understand their meaning.

To know the depths of boundless grace, mercy and peace

And endless love that empties itself yet still gives.


Our lives illumined with the light only He gives

To dispel darkness and nullify even death,

To brighten the way and lighten our paths with peace,

That we might stand upon abundant promises,

That enlighten us to understand the meaning

Of our fully partaking of the Bread of Life.


The faithful God who gives will keep His promises.

Even death can never alter the real meaning

Of perfect peace that leads to everlasting life.

We close with this lively musical rendering of John 10:10: “I have come”

“Celebration of Life Week”: The First Week in the New Year

January 2, 2013
The first week in the New Year has been designated "Celebration of Life Week."

The first week in the New Year has been designated “Celebration of Life Week.”

“Celebration of Life Week,” one of the events and observances sponsored and promoted by the International Society of Friendship and Good Will, takes place annually during the first week in January, which has also been designed as “Celebration of Life Month”: “A time to honor our children and grandchildren in America. Each child and each life is to be held as a precious gift and should be treated with the highest respect and dignity,” according to

“L’Chaim: To Life”

To celebrate this occasion, we offer a toast, L’Chaim (the Hebrew expression which literally means “To life.”) L’Chaim reveals a lot about the Jewish approach to life. The phrase is not to a good life, to a healthy life, or even to a long life. It is simply to life, recognizing that life is indeed good and precious and should always be celebrated and savored. According to a noted Rabbi, L’Chaim means not “to life” as it is commonly translated, but “to lives“—to life in the plural: life in all its fullness, overflowing life that impacts others. No one could live life by themselves. We all need someone else. So there’s no point in toasting life, because life that is not shared is unlivable. So in recognition of the “Celebration of Life Week,” the first week in the January, “Celebration of Life Month,” we offer a toast and say L’Chaim!

L chaim--to life

As a follower of Jesus Christ, who is “The Way, the Truth and the Life,” I endeavor to speak life, while making declarations about life in the midst of a culture that seems absorbed with death. In the midst of an environment where dark forces would seek to release a spirit of death, we celebrate life and speak life to our towns and cities, to the states of our nation and indeed to the world. Let’s listen to “I Speak Life”— the title song from the CD by Donald Lawrence, featuring Donnie McClurkin, an appropriate song for Celebration of Life Week.

Celebration of Life–Figurative Public Sculpture

In downtown Columbus, near Veterans Memorial Coliseum, we find an eye-catching metal sculpture displayed again the skyline of the Capital City. Created by Alfred Tibor, a holocaust survivor, the statue depicts a woman lifting a child over her head and tells the story of early life in the town of Franklinton which grew into the city of Columbus.

The sculpture by Alfred Tibor in downtown Columbus, Ohio depicts a woman holding up a child in "Celebration of Life."

The sculpture by Alfred Tibor in downtown Columbus, Ohio depicts a woman holding up a child in “Celebration of Life.” provides photos and the following description of the bronze sculpture:

The plaque on the front reads:

“Celebration of Life

Arthur Boke Jr. was the first African-American resident of Franklinton, Ohio. His story tells far more than the color of his skin. It is a story of love, selflessness, compassion, and understanding expressed by Sarah Sullivant. Her example reaches out to humanity with a mother’s pure love that accepts all human beings as equal, who share each other’s burdens, listen to each other’s stories, and learn what it is to live in harmony.
It was Sarah Sullivant, who with her husband Lucas – founder of Columbus, made the story of Arthur Boke Jr.

In 1803, Sarah had just given birth to a son, when several days later she found at her doorstep an abandoned baby of a slave. It is what happened next that lifts the story into the rare.
Sarah, filled with the love for her own new-born son, could not bear to leave the abandoned baby without help. Urged on by a humanity very seldom seen in those days, she took the baby, and along with her own new son, nursed both to a strong and healthy childhood.
Named Arthur Boke Jr. by the Sullivants, the baby was adopted by the family and lived as a son and brother until his passing in 1841. The Sullivant children, especially Joseph, whom Arthur helped raise as a loved brother, made sure Arthur was buried in the family plot. It was a testament to Arthur’s inclusion in the Sullivant family. It was an example for future generations that love bridges even the deepest of divides.

Presented here as a modern tribute to the Sullivant’s expression of love is “Celebration of Life,” a sculpture celebrating the family’s deed, and enshrined in bronze, a symbol of how all humankind can make this a better world, one child at a time.


Another plaque on the side reads:

“I am a survivor of the Holocaust, the worst genocide in history.
Hatred is destruction
I gained freedom when I came to the United States of America.
I donated this work to tell coming generations; “Freedom, hope and respect, celebrate life.”

– Alfred Tibor – Sculptor

To learn more about the Celebration of Life Week, click here and find out more about the significance of this observance in Columbus, Ohio, the location of the bronze “Celebration of Life” statue erected in Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Columbus.

During the first week of the New Year, it is appropriate to continue our blog entries at Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe with a focus on the “Celebration of Life.”